The New York City Segway: A Hiccup in the Vehicle and Traffic Law

By Benjamin Fox, Albany Government Law Review

The Segway was introduced to the public in December of 2001.[1]  At that time its creators and members of the public believed it would be the new mode of travel for the twenty first century.[2]  Few were purchased, and current estimates suggest only 80,000 units have been sold worldwide.[3]  Considering these statistics, the laws regarding (and in effect limiting) use of the Segway in New York City seem bizarre and unnecessary.  For that reason, the statutory definition of “motor vehicle” should be amended to exclude all Segways from its reach.  In doing so, it is crucial to understand how the Segway fits into the Vehicle and Traffic Law (hereinafter VTL).  Continue reading “The New York City Segway: A Hiccup in the Vehicle and Traffic Law”

An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?

By Stephanie Goutos, Albany Government Law Review

I. Introduction

On October 11, 2009, an intoxicated Carmen Huertas got into her vehicle and began to drive seven young children to a slumber party.[1]  Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau would later report that Ms. Huertas had “brushed off warnings that she was too drunk to drive,” [2] and authorities stated she was playing a guessing game with the passengers, asking them to raise their hands if they thought they would make it home without crashing.[3]  Ms. Huertas subsequently lost control of the vehicle, which swerved off the road and flipped over on the Henry Hudson Parkway.[4]  Huertas’s blood alcohol limit was tested at the scene of the accident and reported to be above 0.13 percent, surpassing the legal limit of 0.08.[5]  One of the passengers in the car was eleven year old Leandra Rosado, who was thrown from the vehicle as a result of the accident, and did not survive.[6] Continue reading “An Analysis of Leandra’s Law: Are Mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlocks an Effective Way to Curtail Drunken Driving?”

Refusing a Chemical Test by Conduct: The Need For Expansion in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194

By Benjamin Fox, Albany Government Law Review

When a police officer is suspicious that someone is driving under the influence it is common knowledge that a field sobriety or breathalyzer test is soon to follow.  It is also well known that the driver will be taken to the local jail for processing should he fail one or both of those tests. However, the administration of a second chemical test while in police custody seems to be less well known.  These tests, typically in the form of another breath test (though blood tests are also possible), are significantly more sophisticated and important than field tests.[1]  The results of the chemical test are admissible in a Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 1192 hearing – operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.[2] Continue reading “Refusing a Chemical Test by Conduct: The Need For Expansion in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194”

New York State’s Commercial Driver’s License Requirements

By Diana Filkins, Albany Government Law Review Class of 2011

On Saturday, March 12, a bus returning from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut flipped on its side on a busy highway in the Bronx.[1]  It continued to slide until it hit a metal traffic pole, at which point the top of the bus was severed.[2]  Fifteen people were killed while dozens of others were injured.[3]  The driver told authorities that he had to swerve after being hit by another vehicle, yet other passengers report that the driver had already swerved several times for no reason and had been driving erratically.[4]  Authorities investigated how much sleep the driver had the night before.[5]  In addition, the driver had been convicted of manslaughter and grand larceny in the past, as well as receiving a traffic ticket for driving without a license in 1995.[6]  Due to his traffic violations, his license was suspended and he should not have been driving the bus.[7] Continue reading “New York State’s Commercial Driver’s License Requirements”